The News Matrix: Monday 29 December 2014


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The Independent Online

Mission ends as US and Nato bow out

The United States and Nato formally ended their mission in Afghanistan with a handing-over ceremony yesterday. A new two-year mission, consisting of around 13,000 foreign troops, will remain in the country to continue training the Afghan security forces.

Golf on course for  a new revolution

Fifty-five years after Fidel Castro and Che Guevara played a notorious round of the game, golf development companies are looking to move in on Cuba. With the normalisation of relations within the US, golf could be the next big thing for the country’s tourism industry.

Women still missing top government jobs

Women are still being shut out of the most important roles controlled by the Government. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said in 2013 that the “aspiration” was that half of new positions would be filled by women, but only one department has reached the target 10 months on.

Rescuers race to burning ferry

Rescuers were last night battling stormy conditions to try to save hundreds of  passengers – including two Britons – trapped on a burning passenger ferry off the Greek island of Corfu. The Norman Atlantic was travelling from Patras in Greece to Ancona, Italy.

Actor Diamond held over knife attack

Dustin Diamond, who played Screech in the 90s sitcom Saved by the Bell, was arrested on Christmas Day over a knife attack. He said he acted in self-defence.

Farage will not get the pink vote

Nick Clegg is considered the most “gay-friendly” party leader – but the Liberal Democrats are struggling to turn that into votes, a poll found.

Research by PinkNews ranked him comfortably ahead of Ed Miliband, the Greens’ Natalie Bennett and David Cameron. But there was bad news for Ukip’s Nigel Farage who was considered “extremely anti” by three-quarters of gay voters.

Killer Harry Street dies in hospital

Harry Street, who shot dead five people in West Bromwich and Nuneaton in 1978, has died at a high-security psychiatric hospital.

Street, 70, released in 1994, was detained indefinitely in October this year after a stash of weapons were found at his Birmingham home.

UK under fire for Thatcher statue plan

The UK has come under fire from the Argentine ambassador Alicia Castro over plans to unveil a £40,000 statue of Margaret Thatcher on the Falklands Islands. The late baroness was prime minister during the 1982 conflict and Ms Castro has called the move a “celebration of war”.

Was Tracey’s bed ever slept in?

An emeritus professor of art history at the University of Oxford, Martin Kemp, has questioned whether Tracey Emin actually slept in her famous and controversial work, My Bed. Kemp studied suspect creases in the bedclothes and says they could not have been created by the sleeping body of the artist.

Élysée’s No 5 doesn’t smell like Chanel

François Hollande has become the fifth consecutive French president to have a black Labrador as a pet, after he was given one by Montreal-based French war veterans.

The group said Philae, named after the comet probe, was chosen to maintain the tradition of black Labs in the Élysée.

Home of war poet Owen is listed

The home of  war poet Wilfred Owen lived is to be given Grade II listing as part of the  UK’s First World War commemorations. No 69 Monkmoor Road in Shrewsbury was the last family home Owen lived in. He spent two days on leave at the house before returning to France where he was killed in action on 4 November 1918.

Monks’ tweezers found in Suffolk

An earspoon and tweezers have been found during a dig at an abbey in Suffolk, suggesting monks were not opposed to personal grooming. The dig was hoping to find evidence of industrial activity at Leiston Abbey, which was established in the area in 1363 and suppressed by Henry VIII in 1536.

Harry Potter actor David Ryall dies

Friends and colleagues of David Ryall have paid tribute to the actor, who died on Christmas Day aged 79. Ryall’s career spanned film, TV, and the stage. He played Elphias Doge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, recently appeared in the BBC comedy Outnumbered and performed in numerous plays.